Somerset Rebels proud of 2012 achievements despite Premier League Grand Final loss
Promoter Debbie Hancock said Cases Somerset Rebels should look back on their 2012 speedway season with pride, despite missing out on the Premier League title at Scunthorpe Scorpions last night.
The Rebels took a five-point advantage up to Scunthorpe for the second leg, but lost the Grand Final in the cruellest possible way - by one point, after a final-heat decider.
The home side won on the night 48-42, which was enough to overhaul Somerset's lead and win 92-91 on aggregate.
It all went down to the final heat, with the Rebels needing a 4-2 to win the title. Scunthorpe held firm for a 3-3 draw.
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Hancock said: “Many congratulations are due to all associated with Scunthorpe - the promotion, the riders and their fans - on their League Championship title.
"Both legs made for a pulsating play-off final, one that I feel was a credit to the Premier League with both sides more than playing their part in making it one to remember.
"Obviously we are disappointed not to be champions ourselves, we gave it our best shot and I could ask no more of our riders but unfortunately it wasn’t to be.
"Somerset fans should feel rightly proud of the way the team performed, not just in the final but over the season as a whole.”
Although Jesper Monberg won the crucial heat 15 for the Rebels, guest Richard Hall was unable to find a way past the Scorpions duo of Nick Morris and Josh Auty to get an all-important point that would have given Somerset the title.
Somerset had kept things tight in the opening heats of last night’s meeting, and it wasn’t until heat seven that Scunthorpe finally overcame that first leg deficit to get themselves into the overall lead.
But any hopes the home fans held that their side would pull away for a comfortable Championship-winning performance were quickly dashed as the Rebels hit back in heat nine with a maximum race win to put themselves back into the aggregate lead.
The next few heats saw first Scunthorpe back in front, but yet again the Rebels refused to yield and going into the final three heats, Somerset held a narrow one-point lead.
A 4-2 race win to Scunthorpe in heat 13 saw the pendulum swing back the way of the Scorpions once again, and a share of the spoils in the penultimate race meant that Somerset needed a heat advantage in the final race in order to snatch the Championship Trophy away from under the noses of the home side.
But with Auty and Morris effectively shutting out Hall, despite the most valiant efforts of the Rebels’ guest, it meant that the Premier League Championship trophy would be residing in North Lincolnshire for the 2013 season.
Despite last night's disappointment, it has still been a season of success for the Rebels, who won the League Cup for the first time following last week's victory over Ipswich Witches.